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LGBTQ+ Ukrainians fight for their country, and their rights

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Before Russia invaded Ukraine three weeks ago, Oleg used to get up early every day to walk his dogs along the wide, French-inspired boulevards of the capital, Kyiv.

He had been planning a cycling trip to Odessa on the country’s Black Sea coast. But three days after Russian tanks rolled across the border, Oleg, a 22-year-old bisexual man and former beer sommelier, began a very different life – signing up to serve in the Ukrainian armed forces along with his father. “My favourite places in Kyiv are now in ruins,” said Oleg, whose mother and younger brother managed to flee to Germany, joining more than 3 million Ukrainians who have left the country since Russia invaded on Feb.

24. “I try to call them every day and communicate. I miss them very much, but I’m glad they are safe, and they don’t need to hide in basements and bomb shelters,” Oleg, who declined to give his surname for security reasons, said from Kyiv.

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